Economic woes pile up for the Eurozone

Credit rating agencies are expected to downgrade banks in 15 of the 17 Eurozone countries – including ratcheting France’s AAA rating down by at least two notches. Audit firm Ernst & Young predicts the Eurozone is facing a ‘bleak’ winter. with recession in the first half of next year and a standstill of economic growth […]

Public sector pension row rumbles on

UK Government ministers fear that the row with union barons over public sector changes will continue into the New Year. Neither side is prepared to back down as ministers dig in their heels over proposals that will see public sector workers’ contribution rise. 29 unions joined together to strike on 30 November, but it is […]

Franco British posturing continues on ratings

Is it better to be British or French, financially speaking? French officials deflected criticism from rating agencies this week by claiming that however bad things were in France, Britain was in a worse mess (and should have its rating downgraded first). Looking at the figures, the situations in both countries are comparable. The unemployment figures […]

How will Cameron’s veto affect the City?

The markets were stunned this week when David Cameron exercised the UK’s veto against a proposed European Union treaty that would have heralded closer fiscal union. The British Prime Minister claimed that he had no choice but to stand against the chorus of European voices that were calling for deeper financial integration of all member […]

High Court vindicates Government pension change

The High Court has confirmed that the British Government can link public sector pensions to CPI rather than RPI. Whilst the move was declared legal, the court did speculate that the change had more to do with saving public money than an attempt to create an accurate reflection of the cost of living. Bringing the […]

QROPS 2012 pension changes explained

HM Revenue & Customs wants to change QROPS pension rules to make them tighter so no abuse can occur. Proposed laws aimed at stamping out QROPS pension tax avoidance have been announced because retirement savers and advisers are manipulating current rules “in ways they are not intended to work,” says HMRC. The draft legislation is […]

Pension expectations fall well short of financial reality

Wealthy investors face a massive cut in living standards when they retire as their income will drop by more than half, according to figures from asset managers Schroders. Despite 42% of affluent investors telling the firm that they aimed to improve or at least maintain their standard of living in retirement, only 46% will have […]

Draft Secondary Legislation, QROPS

The government has announced an unexpected revamp of QROPS pension rules to stop tax abuses. Tough new rules designed to reestablish a QROPS as a retirement savings plan rather than back-door access to release pension cash early. The main change for QROPS investors is the doubling of the reporting period from five to 10 years. […]

HMRC QROPS Update – Draft Secondary Legislation

HMRC have announced a draft secondary legislation to make changes to the transfer of UK pension to QROPS. A consultation period is underway and will last for 8 weeks, ending on the 31st January 2012. The purposed changes will effect the reporting requirements and conditions that a QROPS scheme needs to meet to be recognised […]

Residency test for ex pats delayed by Treasury

The Treasury has delayed the UK statutory residency test designed to remove doubts over tax status for ex pats. QROPS pension investors now have to wait an extra 12 months for the simplified rules that will show whether an ex pat is tax resident in Britain. The new rules were expected as part of the […]